Editorial: Congress, renew it
Here we go again. In less than 100 days one of the federal government’s most successful conservation funds will disappear, unless Congress can move beyond its hidebound paralysis and act. The Land and Water Conservation Fund was established at the urging of Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson in 1964. It diverts a portion of federal oil and gas lease revenue to local conservation projects. In Washington alone it has provided more than $600 million in grants, funding projects from Lake Wenatchee State Park to Blackbird Island to Lake Chelan. It has been a significant source of funding for the Forest Service, Park Service, Fish and Wildlife and Bureau of Land Management.
Renewing the fund has strong support from Sen. Maria Cantwell and Reps. Dave Reichert and Derek Kilmer. Congress, take note, an outdoor recreational economy worth hundreds of millions will falter with inaction. It would be a grave mistake not to renew the program.